Wednesday, May 24, 2006

What is Life?

Yesterday in my talk about heroes I mentioned that Jesus told us we have an enemy whose only purpose is to “steal and kill and destroy.” Did you click on the link to the verse where Jesus told us that? If not, take a look.
The thief's purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give life in all its fullness.
Jesus said everything He did – the teaching, miracles, healing people, his horrific execution, and world changing resurrection – was for one reason only: to give people life.

That statement begs a question.

What is Life?

Only three little one syllable words, yet the question is huge. So big in fact that I’m not going to pretend to give a definitive answer to it. And I want to hear what you have to say about it. Go ahead and leave a comment at the end of this post with your thoughts.

At the same time, if this is really a blog of “practical life philosophy,” then we ought to look at the question of Life, eh?

Is life simply the sum of our biological function? I mean Jesus did heal a whole bunch of physical maladies. Even so, that seems like a pretty small view of the term. I’m sure the theologians would holler, “Wait! Wait! There’s more to life than that.”

The thing is we humans seem to somehow be “aware”. We know we exist, and yet we question that existence. What other living thing on this planet does that? Why are we different that way, then?

Why is it all of us deep down have a similar craving to be healthy, happy and rich? Is that what it means to be fully alive?

I recently had a conversation where I said that I believe communication is one of the fundamental keys to life. Because without communication there are no relationships. Without relationships life is pretty pointless.

But is Life simply the sum of our relationships? That may not be the whole enchilada, but I really think we are on to something now.

It makes sense in terms of what Jesus said about His motivations. Did he come to help us with our relationships? Was He kind of like a cosmic, all knowing version of Dr. Phil?

While that question is a bit simplistic, and may even be seen as blasphemous by some, I don’t think it is all that wide of the mark.

Read through the things that Jesus has to say. He is consistently beating the same drum. He talks almost exclusively about our relationships, both with God and with each other.

Jesus summed up what was most important to us this way:
Jesus replied, "You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: Love your neighbor as yourself. All the other commandments and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments."
Jesus said the Life He came to give was all about relationships.

That’s my take. Share yours. Leave a comment and let us know your thoughts.


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Steve Remington said...

Great article. I think that we are to love others as we love ourselves. In other words this places everybody on the same level. We all are equals and nobody is any better as we all have sinned and the wages of sin is death. We are all equally sinful. You are either a saved sinner or an unsaved sinner, but the only reason we can obtain salvation is through the God's mercy and grace. That is why I should love Him more.

He has given me life.

Chris Cree said...

Steve, that's all good stuff, what most you hear in most churches.

So would you say that life basically boils down to relationships?

Or is there more to life than that?

By the way, I think the reverse premise of your blog is ingenious.

Tania from Germany said...

You have written a great post! Big time!
I do think it's ALL about relationship on any level and in any shape or form.
It's a Universal truth "easily" put into words and I find it soooo difficult to live.
I’m actually wondering why there is so low response to your article. Or is it because this post is opening up such a BIG question so people are speechless?
I would love to hear other voices!

Chris Cree said...

Tania, I’m with you in that I’d like to hear other views.

The old adage is “you can’t take it with you.” But there is one thing that we can take with us to eternity. Since there will be other people there, our relationships can follow us on.

I think one of the problems is that so many of us have so many messed up relationships in our lives right now that the idea of those relationships lasting “for ever” actually may not be very appealing…

Steve Remington said...

I think what it boils down to is what is in your heart. What is in your heart will manifest into your actions. Your actions are simply an outward display of how you are.

We all sin and fall short, but are you trying to do what is right?

I look at my relationship with my children. Say my son spills milk on the carpet. Does he apologize for it? Is he sincere about it and was it a mistake? Or maybe a poured it on the floor on purpose to be a brat?

The outcome was the same in all incidences. There is milk on the floor regardless of whether or not he meant to or if he is sorry about it.

It is the motives that it all boils down to.

If you are trying to lead a better life and try to do the right things you will have help from God in your spiritual walk. He sees your motives and will carry you when you are weak. If you don't try to do those things, God will be less likely to be forgiving as you have hardened your heart against Him.

So I honestly believe repentence (turning from evil things) is key in the relationship between you and God.

But the sole purpose behind life, I believe, is simply to worship the Lord.

Lastly, I am glad you like my blog :)

Chris Cree said...

Well said, Steve.

So I guess you’re with John Piper, “The chief end of man is to glorify God by enjoying him forever.”